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Friday, June 7, 2019

Daily News Roundup: Stadia Pricing, Games, and Data Cap Murder

Yesterday, Google answered most of our burning questions about Stadia, its upcoming game-streaming service. We know how much it will cost, what internet speeds you need, what games we’ll see at launch, and when it launches.

When Google first announced Stadia, it left lots of room for excitement and plenty of unanswered questions. The game-streaming service sounded good on paper, especially that Wi-Fi controller designed to avoid lag, but only if the price was right. Our sister site, Review Geek, speculated the pricing model would settle on a combination of subscription service and buying games. As it turns out, they were almost exactly right.

Stadia pricing will come in two flavors: a free tier and a subscription tier. In either tier, you’ll have to purchase games. The free tier limits resolution to 1080p and stereo sound. The Pro tier is $10 a month, will include some free games (one to start), and bump you up to 4K and surround sound.

Overall, if you compare the math of $10 a month plus a $69 controller, it works out pretty well versus a $400 or $500 console and a $60 a year online subscription.

You’ll need decent internet speeds (an absolute minimum of 10mbps) to use the service, and you might want to doublecheck if your ISP enforces a data cap.

The game list is moderate to start with, Google detailed a little over 30 games and stated that it wasn’t a complete list. You have heavy hitters like Assassin’s Creed and Destiny 2, but compared to Xbox and PlayStation, the service has a lot of catching up to do.

As for when you can start playing games on Stadia, if you pre-order the Founder’s Edition Kit right now, sometime in November. But if you want to stick to the free-tier you’ll have to wait until some time in 2020. [The Verge]

In Other News:

  • Amazon’s Ring advertisements show suspected thieves’ faces: Recently, Amazon started sponsoring Facebook ads with doorbell video showing uncensored faces. While these people are suspected thieves, they’ve yet to be charged, let alone convicted of a crime. It’s one thing when the Police post videos (it’s their job to catch thieves), but when a company does it to promote its product, it feels gross if not outright wrong. [Vice]
  • Microsoft quietly deleted a huge facial recognition database: Microsoft made waves in the news by espousing the dangers of facial recognition and the need for controls and laws around its use, which is weird because it publically maintained a database of 100,000 faces for recognition training. Microsoft deleted the database, but data on the internet is never really gone. [BBC]
  • Google Maps gets a speedo: Google Maps want to look great, so it’s putting on a speedo…meter. In addition to other recent Waze features add-on, you can now turn on a speedometer that shows your current speed next to the speed limit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Android Auto yet. [Android Police]
  • iOS13 Can automatically close your 3000 Safari tabs: The upcoming iPhone update includes a new Safari option to close tabs you haven’t viewed recently. You can choose from day, week, month, or year. Go on, admit it, you have dozens of tabs open all the time without realizing it. The good news for you is that you can quickly close them all right now. [Cult of Mac]
  • Facebook unfriended Huawei: In yet another blow to Huawei, Facebook suspended app pre-installs on the Android phone maker’s devices that haven’t left the factory. That includes Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Maybe Huawei has a backup social network in the works too? [Forbes]
  • Walmart wants to put groceries in your fridge: Walmart is launching a new InHome Delivery service. Rather than bring your groceries to the door, the intention is to enter your house and put them straight into your fridge. Your first reaction may be “NO!” but this could be useful for someone immobile or otherwise can’t leave the house. Tell us how you feel about it. [Engadget]
  • Google will stop showing more than two top results from a single domain: If you’ve ever gone to Google to find information only to realize every suggested link is the same source, this latest update is for you. Google announced a change that will prevent more than two suggestions coming from the same domain. The company will make some exceptions if necessary, but this should give you more diverse search results. [TechSpot]

Microsoft doesn’t want you to change your password periodically anymore. Everyone in office settings everywhere should rejoice, as the company finally catches up to current password reality.

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